Is this now one of those blogs where the author (that'd be me, your modest and beloved Lanzman) comes in with a post once every six months or so, talking about how he intends to post more, always intended to post more, just doesn't have the time these days? Gosh, it sure looks like it.
Health Care "reform" has passed. Much drama, much sturm und drang. Also a lot of junk in the bill that will have destructive effects over the long term. Let's start with the obvious - the nation is trillions of dollars in debt, so the Democrats think that this is a good time to launch a massive new entitlement program. Sure, why not? President Obama swears up and down that this will be "revenue neutral". Uh-huh. Suuuuuuuure it will.
Oh, and there's apparently a provision in there that commands us all to buy health insurance or face a penalty. This will be enforced by that paragon of responsible authority, the Internal Revenue Service. What could possibly go wrong there? Leaving aside, of course, the fact that Congress has zero Constitutional authority to compel anyone to purchase a commercial product. Some of the reality-impaired are arguing that the "commerce clause" contains this authority, but it's hard for anyone with a working brain to swallow that one.
Look, obviously health care in the US needs some kind of reform. Costs are actually spiraling out of control, and insurance companies remain hives of weasels second only to the recording industry in terms of underhanded skullduggery. But another gigantic government bureaucracy, with all the attendant waste fraud and abuse, is not the answer. Immense sweeping stacks of legislation lend themselves horribly to the Law of Unintended Consequences. I think it would have been better to proceed slowly, adjusting a law here, a regulation there, jiggering things bit by bit and taking unanticipated results into account as they cropped up. But no, it's all-or-nothing. Should make for an interesting few years. If you define "interesting" as "catastrophic government overreach leading to financial ruin" anyway.
Aahhhh, what do I know? Just look at all the big government social programs that have worked exactly as promised. Social Securi . . . oh, wait. Well, Medicare and Medi . . . dang, those haven't gone quite as promised either. The War on Drugs . . . ehhh, maybe not. The income tax? Welfare? Oh well, I'm sure there must be one or two.
Labels: Congress, debt, government, health care, law of unintended consequences, reform